Who here doesn't watch on "home theaters"?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I know that this forum is for those niche of people who have fancy home theater systems. What I want to know is how many people coming to read these forums don't have one and watch their DVDs on simple standard equipment?

    Things like DTS and Superbits doesn't interest me because I don't have the means to use them. I still have a 17 year old 27" television and no immediate plans to upgrade. This doesn't make me any less appreciative of the media just that I am not fanatical about spending my last dime to buy the "latest and greatest" rather it be a movie or equipment.

    Who out there is in the same boat? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed or somewhat belittled by those who want to exploit their systems in comparing minute details that we can not see?

    Eric
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Eric, your post has a slightly resentful tone to it. No one here is discussing his or her picture quality as a means of rubbing it in someone else's face. We are, after all, Home Theater Forum. We have come together to discuss this as a hobby (and, for many, myself included, as a way of life).

    Further, I've come to see that "home theater" can be a state of mind. If you find yourself immersed in the cinematic experience with an older 27-inch display, a DVD player, and, say, a pair of headphones, then you're enjoying home theater. (My bedroom system is centered around a 27-inch Toshiba, and I enjoy the hell out of it.)

    To enjoy Home Theater Forum, all you need to bring is a love for movies and the formats that enable us to enjoy them in the home as best we can.
     
  3. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Eric,

    I think there is a lot of middle ground. My surround system was about $500, and is far from cutting edge, but it does the job for my space. I did spend $2000 on my widescreen set, but that was something I had wanted to get for years. Again, no where near the cutting edge, just a good model by a good manuafacturer.

    Even with this equipment, I still find it difficult to pick out a lot of the things mentioned in reviews. I know what looks great to me, but I'd be hard pressed to say it's because "the colors have deep saturation" or the like. I don't really feel overwhelmed by the in-depth picture critiques here-I just compare them to my own experience. For example, I am not nearly as sensitive to edge enchancement as many are. Same thing with motion artifacts. I can't see them on a 57" monitor from 9', and my eyesight is fine!

    My guess is that you're into DVD for OAR, which is still one the best reasons IMO. If you're happy with your setup, that's all the matters. Some of us just get bitten by the technology bug more often, and the bites sure do ITCH! [​IMG]
     
  4. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Jack,

    Yes, my tone may sound a bit resentful and I apologize. But at the same time I and sure others who don't have the mega equipment also feel a little lost within these forums. I just wonder how much weight our voices carry? On the other hand I have seen others who categorize people such as the "Wal-Mart buyers" which may include me... the average person buying a DVD who in the past has been called Joe 6-pack (even though I don't drink beer). This is where I am coming from when I say the words such as "exploit" and "belittle".

    You have to keep in mind that yes, people on this forum spend a lot of money buying DVDs but a bigger proportion of buyers don't have what is categorized as a "home theater system". That is where I fall and wonder if a separate forum should be set up for those who appreciate DVDs just as much as everyone else here but watch them on standard equipment? That way we can talk to one another on the same level.

    I am only saying that because as more and more households buy DVDs, you need to also expand on thoughts and views for those in the market. A dedicated forum for home theater aficionados in years past may have been fine with 1-2 million sales but with nearly every household approaching purchase, there is room for change.

    Eric
     
  5. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    I just have a 27" TV with a $200 Kenwood Home-Theatre-in-a-Box... not exactly state of the art! [​IMG]

    Gets the job done though! [​IMG]
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    That's exactly the purpose served by this section of HTF. Look, as an example, if you have difficulty in detecting, say, "edge enhancement" on your set, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the disc and the film contained on it. But if you like the picture quality and it's conveyed well enough on your display to see its quality, then you are "qualified" to contribute to a discussion about it.

    Members of this Forum range from those whose equipment may consist of a display and DVD player to someone such as a fellow staffer of mine who's just purchased the new Marantz DLP front projector and has just installed it in his dedicated basement home theater.

    Am I jealous of my front projector-enabled colleague? Hey, a little — but not as much as I am happy for him. Meanwhile, I, still using a direct-view WEGA in my main system, am having a blast enjoying films in a way I just never could in commercial theaters.
     
  7. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I hear what you are saying Jack but yet, I feel that much bandwidth is lost and this forum would become bloated if someone like me post a message saying that I see no edge enhancement on my 480 television vs 1080 projector. Or a picture being soft on a 10 foot screen as opposed to my 27 inch set.

    I feel that there are many people who simply read these forums to get a feel of things but feel a bit intimidated to post and that is where a second forum dedicated to those of us who are not aficionados could benefit.

    It is nice to mingle but you usually don't see a Bentley mechanic mingling at a back yard BBQ with a Jiffy Lube mechanic. How could they relate to one another talking shop? [​IMG]

    Eric
     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    I think the majority of members here have 27-32" televisions. It's not what you have, it's what you do with it that counts.
     
  9. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Chad.. Are we supposed to read between the lines there? :b

    I am sure there are a lot of 27" and 32" readers but how many post? Are they treated fairly to give reviews that relete to what they watch a DVD on or generally ignored or blasted by other readers for going against the grain or die hard HTF traditions?
     
  10. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    I'd bet that every single HTFer would agree with this: anyone who knows about OAR is way ahead of the people whom we would refer to as "Joe Six Pack." That's for people who are almost completely ignorant about all aspects of home video. Not that such folks are bad people or anything like that, just that they've never been educated/taught themselves about the most basic things like aspect ratio.
     
  11. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    I don't have "mega" equipment and I still don't feel lost in this forum. My "screen" is a 29" that I got nine years ago. My sound system includes a surround receiver that I thought was pretty nice years ago, but it's only connected to two (old) speakers at the moment. But I still think I'm somewhat enjoying "home theater". I'm planning to build a small home theater in a dedicated room eventually, though.
     
  12. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Haggai,

    I know, each person should be treated fairly. Even though I am a widescreen advocate, we should not put down those people who may prefer full-screen versions. They too keep bottom line sales figures up for studios to bring out more titles.

    There has been talk years past that children can't hold their attention span viewing widescreen. Another thing is that for those who have small screen TVs, the picture is reduced in size if it is widescreen meaning that for those with vision problems have to squint to see all of the action especially if you sit across the room. You can't simply write it off that a person hasn't been "educated" to know better. Maybe that is what they want. You can't sell a Ford to someone in the market for a Chevy and vice-versa.

    Black, White, Yellow, Red, Green... Straight, Gay, TV, Cross-dresser.. Widescreen, Pan-Scan, Colorized, DTS, Superbit... we all are different and all should be treated equally.

    Eric
     
  13. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Isn't that what guys with small you-know-whats say? (joke, joke, please don't hurt me).
     
  14. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    Well, I joined this forum in the middle of last year. At that time, I had no special setup. I had a 27" Sharp television set, an RCA DVD player, and no receiver. I am a great lover of movies, and it's because of this I decided to join Home Theater Forum. Ever since, I've learned a great deal of information which I've utilized in the past year.

    For example, in December, I purchased a Dolby Digital/DTS receiver after learning the benefits of surround sound through the forums. In April, we purchased a 52" RCA rear projection set after I had read hundreds of posts listing the benefits.

    I am by no means a wealthy person.......hell I'll be paying for that TV until I'm in my 40s. lol. But when I joined the forum last year, I didn't feel "out of place". Being able to discuss movies with fellow movie lovers was all I wanted to do.....and boy, I did that and MUCH more.

    As for original aspect ratios, I was once unaware/uneducated about the benefits of widescreen. At one point, I couldn't stand the "annoying black bars". But after coming here, and reading all of the great resources, viewing the screen caps which showed the difference between pan & scan and OAR, I quickly converted, and I owe all of that to Home Theatre Forum.

    Now I WILL admit that I'm still lost in the woods when terms such as "edge enhancement" or "halos" are brought up. A DVD that may get a lacklustre review in regards to picture quality may look picture perfect in my eyes, and I would be none the wiser.

    After the upgrades I've made, it still boils down to the fact that I love to watch movies. All I insist upon is that they are presented in the original aspect ratios. I don't worry myself with picture quality (or lack thereof).

    Anyway, anyone new to the forum shouldn't have much difficulty fitting in. Talk about your favorite flicks, learn a few things, and see where it goes from there. To me, Home Theatre Forum has been educational, resourceful, informative, and most of all.........fun.
     
  15. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Andrew...

    True, people can get hooked on HTF. That is why I am here rather than somewhere else. It has helped me tremendously in years past to make decisions on purchases and hope that my .02¢ worth has helped studios make decisions for releases that I wanted in my own collection. And yes, the "home theater bug" has hit me from time to time but I have to wake up and "get real".

    I can't afford such lavish upgrades and so have to stick to bargain hunting DVDs and the basic bedroom type setup which consists of a simple TV with 2 front speakers... no stereo hookup. Even if HTF has taught me about various benefits to OAR, large screen and surround sound as well as other things, I can't use most of it right now or in the foreseeable future.

    Hell... people talk about Blue Ray Lasers replacing the standard DVDs already. At this rate by the time I catch up with wide screen and Hi-Def, I'll be either too old to care or dead [​IMG]

    Eric
     
  16. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    I agree with you on the Blu Ray issue. Over the past year I've managed to build up a pretty adequate DVD collection, only to learn that this format will be replaced soon. It is indeed pretty disheartening. I think when Blu Ray, HD-DVD.....or whatever hits the market, it may be quite some time before I jump that hurdle.
     
  17. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Eric,

    What conversations have you contributed to that someone made you feel inadequate? What conversations are you interested in that you feel uncomfortable joining? Not every thread has to do with the technical qualities of a DVD release. If you love movies, there's a whole section devoted to just talking about them seperate from the technical discussions. Heck, even the most technical threads usually veer off into a discussion about the movies themselves.
     
  18. Jim Williams

    Jim Williams Second Unit

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    I also think that it is up to you and what you want and feel is important. If you really want to get into HT in a bigger way, you will find the means to do it. If it means putting in a few more hours of overtime or taking on a part time job so that you can indulge in the hobby that you enjoy, then that is what you are going to do. If it really isn't that important, then you won't.
     
  19. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Jim,

    I appreciate your views but even so, not everyone has that capability. Myself have muscular dystrophy so can't take a second job or work overtime to indulge into the hobby the way I would like to. Sometimes the simplest of replies aren't that simple.

    Eric
     
  20. Brian W

    Brian W Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Eric-

    I am very sympathetic understand about your muscular dystrophy, I have a friend who has MS. I also have some disabilities of my own that I have been overcoming.
    I can't tell you how many sacrifices I make to afford my current HD- home theater system, it is a priority in my life and reflects my love for cinema. Fortunately, with a 2 person income and, again, us making sacrifices we have managed to support our habit. Just remember, by us with better systems setting a standard now, when the technology becomes more main stream and yes, affordable (and we are talking soon!), that we helped with our picky critiques guiding the format to where it should be. I have friends who can't afford a system as mine, OR maybe they have a nicer house or cars than me, or other spending priorities. But they are always invited over and appreciate seeing films here, no jealousy involved. You will appreciate us more when you will be able to afford a better system, that we helped get the format there. In the meantime, your love for movies has no less value or appreciation because of your current system, that is what we all have in common is our love for cinema.
     

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